Yuan Zhan was born in Chongqing in 1941. She is a graduate of National Taiwan Normal University Fine Arts Department graduating in Chinese painting in 1962. At university she received training from notable artists Huang Jun-bi, Chin-bo Chin, Wu Yong-hsiang and Sun Chia Chin, gaining a solid footing in the subject. Yuan went abroad to Belgium and the US after graduating where she obtained degrees in archaeology, art history and antique preservation. After returning to Taiwan, she became a researcher at the National Palace Museum until her retirement in 2001.
Yuan actually only started painting seriously at the end of the 1980s, 30 years after graduating from art school. She held her first solo exhibition in 1993. Yuan did however practice calligraphy during the time she worked at the National Palace Museum, which allowed her to keep up her brush and line work.
She also came into contact with the finest examples of traditional art through her work, which was to inspire her later work. Yuan’s art has advanced in stages and she still has plenty of creative ambition even in her 70s.
In Deched by Yuan Zhan, not only mountains are formed by rows of longish color strips, everything else seems to be made of geometric, abstract color blocks, too. This gives the picture a sense of
firmness and weight, as well as a structural order that expands two-dimensionally instead of creating a perspective depth of field. This kind of graphic design not only makes this artwork different from traditional landscape, but also more closely relates to any visual experience in modern times.
Yuan Zhan as a fifty year old embarking on a painting career wanted to escape the fetters of her traditional art education. She developed an individual and modern style that is also inspired by different traditional styles of art. The decorative structure and use of color of her art is a break with traditional ink and wash. Her reinterpretation of traditional painting using a contemporary vocabulary shows a deliberate pursuit of the new and different. Although Yuan's ink and wash style is inspired by classic works, she has purposefully sought to update traditional style and technique. In particular, she employs a more contemporary and free use of color. By continually experimenting Yuan Zhan has put a contemporary face on traditional ink and wash.
|Medium / Classification：||Eastern Gouache|
|Collection Unit：||Collection of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum|
|Contact method for authorization：||
Taipei Fine Arts Museum
|Related Exhibition：||"The Pioneers" of Taiwanese Artists, 1941-1950|